|INFORMATION: Free information is available from EPICOR on the subject in this story. Click here to request a copy|
Epicor Software Corporation, provider of enterprise business software solutions for the midmarket and divisions of Global 1000 companies, has announced that Fife Fabrications (FiFab), recognised as a 'concept to component provider' to OEMs and EMSs worldwide, and one of the UK's most advanced manufacturers of precision sheet-metalwork, electromechanical assemblies and precision machined components, has selected the Epicor 9 next-generation enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution. Epicor will be used as an end-to-end replacement for a number of discrete systems covering functions including lead generation, finance, manufacturing, quality control and distribution.
Fife Fabrications will use Epicor to address several business challenges that the previous ERP system was unable to tackle. The ERP system at the heart of FiFab's operations is a 20-year old command-line based system, which had served the company well, but with a dwindling support network, now poses a significant risk. Not only is it very difficult and time consuming to get amendments to the system, but extracting meaningful data is challenging and getting systems to talk to one another in a consistent and reliable fashion is difficult.
"Our existing system needs a lot of administration and baby-sitting," said Roberto Morris, ERP project manager at Fife Fabrications. "The risk to us as a business is also increasing as the support network has shrunk to just one company that can still help us when needed. Data mining and custom reporting is not straightforward, and as a result many of our departments are using their own spreadsheets and printed information."
Because of the use of disparate systems, spreadsheets and printed information, it proves a challenge for the company to plan its manufacturing and assess the performance and profitability of the work undertaken for its customers. Automating the measurement of planned time and materials against original quotes is key to improving the efficiency of the company.
"Paper-based information is out of date as soon as it leaves the printer, and the same is true of data extracted into spreadsheets," continued Morris. "We want a quote-to-cash system that gives complete visibility of the projects we undertake, allowing us to identify process improvement opportunities and make necessary changes in real time. Epicor will allow us to quote and plan quicker, making us much more competitive."
Epicor was selected from shortlist of 12 vendors. One of the key benefits of Epicor over its competitors is that anyone familiar with the Microsoft Office products would find the system intuitive to use, and that the solution can support every aspect of the business straight out of the box. Something many other vendors claiming to be specialists in FiFab's market, fell short on. The embedded business process management (BPM) tools within Epicor will allow FiFab to easily implement its own business logic without the need for any re-coding of the core application.
"Epicor ticked all of the boxes for us in terms of features and the ability to quickly tailor the system to our needs through BPM," concluded Morris. "Not only that, all the references I spoke with before making my final decision were full of praise for the product something I have not had happen before."
"Time and time again customers tell us that the ability to quickly tailor Epicor through agile business process management, without touching the base code, is a key feature for them," said Matt Muldoon, vice president for product marketing at Epicor. "Businesses don't stand still and they don't want to be indebted to consultants or be forced into costly customization when they must make changes to reflect business needs."